Worth Watching: ‘Snowpiercer’ Finale, ‘Voice’ Battles, ‘Race to the Center of the Earth,’ Roasts’ ‘Hall of Flame’
A selective critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
Snowpiercer (9/8c, TNT): Life inside the futuristic train has really gone off the rails as the action-packed two-part season finale gets underway. (The series has already been renewed for a third year.) Snowpiercer’s creator, the malevolent Mr. Wilford (Sean Bean), has taken control of this perpetual-motion shelter from the cold, but his ethos is more frigid than the weather: “The cold heart of political power is obedience,” he gloats. Try telling that to his adversary, Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs), whose banishment has literally landed him in deep doo-doo. The forces of revolution won’t be stilled for long, of course, and as the heroes plot to get the giant train diverted to rescue the snowbound Melanie (Jennifer Connelly), things heat up quickly and stay that way through the explosive climax.
The Voice (8/7c, NBC): The Blind Auditions are history (sigh), which means it’s time for the Battle Rounds — and the arrival of the mentors: Luis Fonsi for Team Kelly, Emmy-winning Glee veteran Darren Criss for Team Nick, Brandy for Team Legend and a twofer in Dan + Shay for Team Blake. They’ll help their respective coaches get the singers ready for head-to-head vocal combat, with the victor moving on to the Knockouts, though the coaches each get a steal and a save.
Over at ABC’s American Idol (8/7c), the Showstopper round continues from Sunday, with the remaining contestants backed up by a band for the first time this season. And the Top 24 will be announced.
This is preceded by a new season of Running Wild with Bear Grylls (9/8c), which opens with the survivalist joined by The Falcon and the Winter Soldier star Anthony Mackie, who might be pining for the Falcon’s mechanical wings as they traverse steep cliffs and ascend an icy waterfall in Italy’s scenic Dolomite mountains.
Hall of Fame: Top 100 Comedy Central Roast Moments (10/9c, Comedy Central): All week (through Friday), Comedy Central counts down the sickest burns from the network’s long, storied and bleep-heavy history of celebrity roasts, which put the likes of Alec Baldwin, Bruce Willis, Rob Lowe, and the legendary Joan Rivers (RIP) in the hot seat. Nikki Glaser hosts, inviting commentary from comics including Roy Wood Jr., Dulcé Sloan, Bob the Drag Queen, and many more. It builds to the reveal of the #1 insult on Friday. (I hope they include this classic from the late Cloris Leachman, who surveyed the dais at Bob Saget’s roast and quipped: “For the love of God, will someone please punch me in the face so I can see some stars?”)
Bloodlands (streaming on Acorn TV): The script flips in the third chapter of this gripping Irish mystery as Detective Tom Brannick (James Nesbitt) desperately works to cover up a shocking act that sends the investigation into a new spiral. As suspicion begins to turn within the police department, Brannick’s boss (Lorcan Cranitch) begins to believe he’s being set up. He’s not wrong.
Also on Acorn: The first of six new episodes of the New Zealand-set The Brokenwood Mysteries, now in its seventh season. First up: Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Shepherd (Neill Rea) leads his team into a world of antiquities when the TV crew of the hit show All Things Old and Beautiful comes under suspicion when one of the hosts is murdered.
Inside Monday TV: CBS turns over its prime-time schedule to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (starts at 7 pm ET/6c) with the final games of the Elite Eight, setting up this weekend’s much-anticipated Final Four round. … E!’s True Hollywood Story (9/8c) explores the “Death of Innocence” in a report on rising stars — including Selena, sitcom star Rebecca Schaeffer and The Voice contestant Christina Grimmie — whose careers were cut short by murderously obsessed fans. … Things get personal, and awkward, on ABC’s The Good Doctor (10/9c) when Claire’s (Antonia Thomas) absentee dad (Marcuis Harris) suddenly appears, with (what else) a terminal illness, and Shaun (Freddie Highmore) admits he can’t emotionally connect yet to his and Lea’s (Paige Spara) unborn child. … Expect tension to rise on NBC’s Debris (10/9c) when the shadowy INFLUX villains go more public by weaponing the space flotsam in a sinister experiment.